One Minute Reflection – 21 January – Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28, Mark 2:23-28 and the Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) – Virgin Martyr
“…so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”...Mark 2:28
REFLECTION – “From the first, the law of the Sabbath conferred many and great benefits, for instance, it made the Jews gentle and humane towards those of their own household, it taught them God the Creator’s providence and wisdom… hence God gave the law for the Sabbath He said… that He would have them refrain from evil works only when he said: “You must do no work, except for what is necessary for life” (Ex 12:16 LXX).
And in the temple, too, everything continued with more diligence than ever. Thus even by means of the very shadow, He was secretly opening the full light of truth (cf. Col 2:17).
Did Christ then do away with so highly profitable a thing? Far from it, He greatly enhanced it. For it was unnecessary… that we should learn from it, that God made all things or that we should be made kind by it, who are called to imitate God’s own love. For He says: “Be merciful, as your heavenly Father is merciful”(Lk 6:36). It was no longer necessary to fix a day of festival for those who are commanded to keep a feast all their life long. For: “Let us keep the feast,” Saint Paul writes, “not with old leaven, neither with leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor 5:8)…
So now, why is any sabbath required for Christians who are always keeping the feast and whose conversation is in heaven? Yes, my brethren, let us celebrate that continual, heavenly sabbath.”…St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctor
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You choose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong. Grant that, as we celebrate the martyrdom of St Agnes, we may follow her example of steadfastness and trust in faith. We pray that through her intercession, we may grow in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.